In October of 2011 Sriman Navasundara dasa wrote the following to me regarding a conversation he had with Srila Govinda Maharaja after Sagara Maharaja left his sannyasa to marry.
On the subject of Sripad Sagar Maharaja, i can only repeat what I heard Gurudev say to someone i know well and what he himself said to me.
“No one has gained so much and lost so much” “He (Sagar) will be okay but those that follow him will go to hell” and to me he asked simply if i was his man or Sagar Maharaj’s, to which i replied that i was his (Srila Govinda Maharaja’s).
Swami B.K. Giri
Thank you very much for translating Jaya Gauranga’s message to me. It is very kind of you.
Unfortunately, I rarely use Facebook. As a result I may not see messages sent to me via Facebook for many weeks after they have been left in that system.
My reply to Jaya Gauranga (JG) is as follows.
Dear Sriman Jaya Gauranga dasa,
Please accept my blessings and well-wishes.
I’m sorry to hear of your troubles but glad you contacted me.
Whatever has happened please feel assured of Krishna’s promise that ”My devotee will never perish.” There is another promise that Srila Sridhara Maharaja used so often it became something like an adage. The statement is from Bhagavad-gita:
na hi kalyana-krt kascid durgatim tata gacchati
It is usually translated as: ”One who does good, my friend, is never overcome by evil.”
Srila Sridhara Maharaja often used it in this way:
“If we are sincere in our attempt, then no one in the world can check us or deceive us; we can only deceive ourselves (na hi kalyana-krt kascid durgatim tata gacchati). We must be true to our own selves, and true to the Supreme Lord. We must be sincere.” ((Sri Guru and His Grace))
JG: Dear Maharaj, I am very much asking for your mercy. You know what is happening in Ukraine right now. The war has been going on for eight years…
Me: Yes, I know. It is a great tragedy conceived and executed by the evil minded President of Russia, Mr. Putin.
In the Bhagavad-gita Arjuna refers to Duryodhana as “the evil-minded son of Dhṛtarāṣṭra.” I have come to think of Putin as the evil minded son of Stalin. Although there is no connection between these two by birth, Putin will certainly come to be recognized as the next prominent acharya in the sampradaya of Lenin and Stalin. Their despotic thinking and behavior easily places them in the same group. Hopefully Putin will be stopped sooner than Lenin and Stalin. If he is not stopped Russia will become another North Korea with Putin as the head of a country cut off from friendly relations with the so called civilized world and all the Russian people will be made to suffer under his rule.
JG: In 2015 I left my home in Donetsk. Since then I have been living as a wandering monk. I live on the mercy of good people.
Me. Very good.
JG: In 2020, Avadhut Maharadj instructed Sagaru Maharadj. Sagaru Maharadj canceled my initiation received in 1995.
Me: I would like to know the reason these actions were taken by Avadhuta Maharaja and this person you call ”Sagaru Maharadj” (I think you must mean Sagara Maharaja). You must have done something they found to be extremely objectionable.
In any event, there is no more Sagara Maharaja. He left his sannyasa many years ago to become a householder. At that time Srila Govinda Maharaja, giving recognition to his new status as a grhasta, gave him the name Svarupananda. Not long after that he became almost totally useless and lost all his position in the eyes of Srila Govinda Maharaja. [“No one has gained so much and lost so much” “He (Sagar) will be okay but those that follow him will go to hell”]
This is my current thinking regarding “Sagara Maharaja” cancelling your initiation to Srila Govinda Maharaja.
I suppose Sagara Maharaja gave you initiation in 1995 as a rtvik guru of Srila Govinda Maharaja. At that time you became Srila Govinda Maharaja’s disciple. In 2010 Srila Govinda Maharaja disappeared and long before that ”Sagara Maharaja” lost his recognition as a rtvik guru. By 2020 only Srila Govinda Maharaja could cancel your initiation for, by that time, both ”Sagara Maharaja” and Avadhuta Maharaja had proven themselves to be useless as either gurus or rtvik gurus. Avadhuta Maharaja has become the head of a mundane institution with the color of a religious one. If ”Sagara Maharaja” is connected with him it must be that they use each other for their material profit and they try to use others for the same purpose. Initiation is a spiritual process. It has nothing to do with the mundane world.
I have not heard any incident of a guru cancelling a disciple’s initiation after the guru’s disappearance. As far as I am concerned I believe you are eternally connected to Srila Govinda Maharaja as his duly initiated disciple.
My initiating guru, Srila Prabhupada, signed letters to his disciples using this phrase: ”Your ever well-wisher.” That is the mood of a guru towards his disciples, he is their well-wisher, eternally. So long as you accept Srila Govinda Maharaja as your guru and sincerely try to serve His Divine Grace, accepting him as your eternal master, no outsider to that relationship has the power to ”cancel” it.
You must have done something that disturbed Avadhuta Maharaja a great deal for him to take this action. While I don’t believe the action he took will have the effect he wanted, it will be better that you maintain some regard for him as your Godbrother for, like you, he is eternally a disciple of your guru. You may fight with him, as brothers will disagree and fight with one another, but remembering, he is your brother.
JG: Dear Maharaja, I ask Your Grace to restore me initiation and give me your prana-mantra.
Me: As explained above, I see no need to restore your initiation as it was never cancelled.
By the order of Srila Govinda Maharaja I can initiate my own disciples but I can no longer initiate as Govinda Maharaja’s rtvik, as I previously did. If I cannot initiate disciples on behalf of Srila Govinda Maharaja I cannot cancel or restore their initiations either. In my opinion, no one can.
JG: Dear Maharaj, I will look for sponsors to organize your visit to Kyiv.
Me: Because I have come to know many devotees in Ukraine, Putin’s aggression towards it has caused me much concern. This concern has greatly intensified since his invasion this year. In times of great distress devotees remember Krishna as their protector and look for Him with greater intensity. So there is a positive side to every event, even one such as war.
Fortunately, it seems you have been safe to this point from bodily injury resulting from the war. Better still, you are traveling about as a monk spreading the glories of Sri Krishna and Sri Guru. This is the best service one can do, so please continue with great enthusiasm and do not give any attention to Avadhuta Maharaja. He can cancel the initiations of his own disciples but he has no power to cancel the initiations of disciples of Srila Govinda Maharaja, that [cancelling initiations of Govinda Maharaja’s disciples] is nonsense.
Please, Maharaj, will you be able to make such a trip?
Yes, but not immediately.
During the last few months I wished many times I could visit Ukraine, both to see my friends and to preach.
If you can arrange for my visit I will certainly come but I have some work to finish here that will take a couple months or so to complete. Once it is completed, I can go there.
I hope this finds you well in health and spirits.
Swami B.K. Giri